Nipples aren’t just decorative—but you already knew that especially when you were getting those Nipple-gasms…
But on a more serious note, nipples are really taken for granted since they’re kind of just there…
But the thing is, not all nipples are the same, and you might wonder if something is off if you notice that your nips are different from a friend’s.
Here’s what is normal in the nipple department, and when you should talk to your doctor.
1. You can still breastfeed with inverted nipples.
Inverted nipples are nipples which point into the breast instead of popping out. If you’ve always had inverted nipples, it’s no biggie—that’s just what your nipples do. But if you notice that you used to have outies and one or both are suddenly going in, it’s important to flag it for your doctor.
2. It’s actually possible to get acne on your nipples.
The area bordering your areola is just skin, and you may notice little blackheads here and there circling your areola. That’s normal actually. If you get them regularly and it bothers you, try washing with a gentle soap in the area.
However, if you notice a rash or bump near your nipple or areola that’s red and scaly, call your doctor. It could be no biggie, or it could be a sign of something called Paget’s disease of the nipple, a rare form of breast cancer that causes cancer cells to collect in or around the nipple.
3. Nipple discharges are often normal even if you’re not pregnant or breastfeeding
This discharge (milky, bluish-green, or clear) can occur in most women if the nipple is squeezed. But if you’re not squeezing—and especially if the discharge is bloody and/or coming from just one of your breasts—see a health care professional. It could be the result of benign growth, a harmless cyst, or breast cancer.
4. Third nipples are actually really common
These “supernumerary” nipples are often mistaken for moles or skin tags. Having a third nipple isn’t a problem, and it can easily be removed in an outpatient procedure.
5. Hairy nipples are normal
If you’ve got dark hairs growing on your nipples, pluck, wax, or cut them carefully. If these hair follicles become painful, grow in size, or are itchy and scaly, see your doctor. It could be a sign of infection—or cancer.